Why Omid Scobie's new royal tell-all "Endgame" has been pulled off the shelves in the Netherlands

The book was already controversial, but now information in the Dutch version could be disastrous

By Nardos Haile

Staff Writer

Published November 29, 2023 7:19PM (EST)

Meghan Markle (Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle (Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images)

The royal drama never stops, and anew potential development could be an interesting turn in the neverending saga of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's defection from the royal family.

Author and royal expert Omid Scobie has been enjoying some notoriety for his royal tell-all "Endgame," released Tuesday. (Be sure to check out our "Salon Talks" with Scobie on Thursday.) However the book has caused a firestorm in royal circles and outrage among royal fans who find the information contained within not just divisive but also harmful to the monarchy. Some have painted it as one big conspiracy theory.

But the biggest move to discredit the book has come in the form of trying to stop its sales altogether . . . in the Netherlands. Apparently, the Dutch version of Scobie's book contains sensitive information – a name or names – that hasn't been included in the other copies. Due to the resulting outrage, the Dutch book is now being pulled from shelves.

Let's take a look at the controversy surrounding the book, that particular translated version including those names and how this all connects to that fateful Oprah Winfrey sitdown interview with Harry and Meghan in 2021.

The Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry the world watched

A seemingly jaded and newly freed ex-royals Meghan and Harry were awaiting the right time to share their experiences with the world, and boy did their 2021 sitdown with Oprah prove to be explosive. During the interview, the couple revealed numerous troubling allegations and experiences they faced in their role as senior royals.

But the biggest bombshell was that while Meghan was pregnant with their son Archie, there were "concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he's born," from members of the royal family. Oprah was not told the identity of the person but Harry told her it was neither "his grandmother nor grandfather [Queen Elizabeth or Prince Philip] that were part of those conversations." Meghan, who also refused to name names, said that if the identity of the person came out it "would be very damaging to them."

Since the interview, many have publicly speculated about the person or potentially the people who made the racist comment. The royal family denied the accusations of racism, Prince William telling reporters, “We’re very much not a racist family." Elizabeth said she was “saddened” by the accusation and that “while some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”

Scobie claimed he knew who said the racist comments about Archie's skin color in "Endgame"

"Endgame" follows the behind-the-scenes drama that happened in real time after the racial comments were made. Scobie claimed that in a series of private letters between Meghan and the now King Charles, she told him the names of the two royal household members. During the Oprah interview, it was revealed that it was one royal who said the comment but according to Scobie, it was two.

Not only did Scobie reveal it was two people, but he also knew who made the comments and purposefully chose to omit to name them because “laws in the United Kingdom prevent me from reporting who they were.” He told a Dutch television show, "There's never been a version that I’ve produced that has names in it.” 

Therefore, it came as a surprise that the Dutch translated version of "Endgame," has allegedly revealed the undisclosed name of the senior royal who questioned Archie's skin color.

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"Endgame" is pulled from shelves in the Netherlands 

The anticipated book was released to the public on Tuesday but things quickly went awry as the Dutch translation included the redacted names. While chaos ensued, the Dutch publishing house Xander Uitgevers responded almost immediately on Tuesday evening. The publisher's managing director Anke Roelen said, "An error occurred in the Dutch translation and is currently being rectified."

"Endgame" has now been temporarily removed from sale by its publisher and the "rectified" version be re-released in the Netherlands on Friday, the BBC reported.

As the leaked names spread online and the buzz circulated the British tabloids, Buckingham Palace said it would be “considering all options” against Piers Morgan after he named the royals who allegedly commented on Archie's skin color during his show's Wednesday evening broadcast. Morgan said the public deserves the “right to know” who was accused of racism by Meghan and Harry. He even posted the segment to his X account, spreading the names widely to his followers and people on X.

Scobie said on X before the book's release: “Incorrect and bad translations, snippets without context, leaks etc. do not tell the full or accurate story. Thank you.”


By Nardos Haile

Nardos Haile is a staff writer at Salon covering culture. She’s previously covered all things entertainment, music, fashion and celebrity culture at The Associated Press. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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Explainer Meghan Markle Netherlands Omid Scobie Prince Harry Royal Family